MS World International Ambassador Priya Paramita Paul shares her ordeal with the casting process in the industry

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MS World International Ambassador Priya Paramita Paul has been giving auditions for quite some time now but nothing has worked out. Overall the beauty pageant winner has had a very bitter experience. Speaking more about it, she says, “I started immediately after completing my pageant in August. Since then I have been visiting all casting agencies and production houses for auditions. Initially, I had very little confidence. Before my pageant, I didn’t even know how to face a camera or groom myself. Of course, I have gone through courses on how to face the camera and work with the camera, what angle is best for you, etc. I thought when I approach these casting agencies, I will be accepted because I have experience and have done courses. Also having a good portfolio is something that is a must in this field. If portfolios are good, then you are halfway there, even though if you are a fresher you will be accepted. And during my pageantry, I had my best portfolio shot and I knew how to groom myself and talk confidently.” She adds, “After my pageant, one primary judgment that I was getting before giving the auditions was that I am a model and they don’t believe I can act. Whenever they ask about my experience, I get that smirk from everyone as they believe a model is just a dummy who wears nice clothes and gives nice expressions but cannot act. In fact, I didn’t even get a chance to go through any auditions as soon as I submitted my profile. There was a blank response. People also started selling their acting schools to me without even seeing that I might be able to act.”

Models can’t act – this was a belief many years ago. Do you feel that belief still exists?
“Yes, I have experienced this. People judged me even before giving me a script to act. There was an incident where the casting directors called me and spent 1 hour explaining why a model cannot be an actor and how difficult it is for a model to become an actor. The whole experience demotivated me a lot.” Recently Priya completed a course in acting because of the experience she had during auditions. Do you feel a course will give you a better understanding of acting?

Priya says, “Most people don’t understand that if someone doesn’t have a skill then that can be built. There are people who are blessed by birth and there are many actors right now in the industry who probably never had an acting background in the past and they worked on it and kept on improving themselves. Shah Rukh Khan is one example. Many people are not aware of my life, and how I changed my mental and physical health. I went through every training possible to win a pageant. So I went and joined the acting school as well to complete my acting course. I am happy that I have taken the course and the best part is I have learned that acting is an ongoing process. If you complete the course it doesn’t mean you are a very good actor. During this course, my trainers have been very kind and taught us everything from analysing a script to connecting with emotions and how to connect with the audience. I also gave my first theatre performance recently.”

Paramita is also a life coach and shares her take on changing perceptions. “Since I am a life coach I know that people who want to think positive, will also find the positive part of every experience. Things can be changed when you continue to be persistent in your goal. I am just being positive that things can change as I will be showcasing my talent wherever I go. I hope that I get auditions and I show my acting skills on any platform where I can show my work. For me the pageant industry wasn’t easy but being in this industry for two years, I know how to present myself and it was all because of my discipline and persistence. Lastly, I would like to convey a message to all the casting directors in the industry.

They themself are also actors and they need to understand that even the best actor has also gone through a phase when they were new and the way they started was by getting one chance. Don’t take away that chance from anyone, have that faith. You might be able to find something new and creative. Please give people a chance and don’t go by the wrapper of the chocolate. Let actors know what they are lagging and what skill sets they need to build so that people get the idea of what they want to work on. Also, I want to tell them not to generalize everyone. When you select people based on the requirements please understand that every human being is different. It is not always necessary that a model cannot act. There are people like me who would do whatever it takes to make sure that they get that one chance. Be that one reason for anyone’s life so that they remember you and talk about you. A little bit of humanity adds a lot to anyone’s life.”

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